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A frozen then burst pipe in Poland - what to do.


Wroclaw Boy
15 Dec 2010  #1
When you first realise theres a bust pipe spraying water all over your home there are some rules of thumb. Ive realised the hard way what they are and although not all followed by myself have compiled a short list in case of emergency:

1: Electricity: shut off power
2: Stop leak: turn off mains water inlet taps
3: Stop leak: turn off affected tap if possible
4: Damage limitation: focus on where the main leak is coming from and place a bucket/buckets underneath it
5: Damage limitation: dont panic just grab a mop and bucket and soak up all the water
6: Dont worry: its going to keep dripping, thats gravity just let it happen
7: Inform neighbors below you that they may have water dripping from their ceiling and that its a water board issue, they should contact their insurance company

Chill and have a beer or two.
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
15 Dec 2010  #2
Ive realised the hard way what they are and although not all followed by myself have compiled a short list in case of emergency:

I am sure you have revised your list to exclude the original step number 1:

1) Slap yourself on the head while uttering in either Polish or English *either is acceptable in such a situation...* "Fuhk mee....."
mafketis 20 | 7,344
15 Dec 2010  #3
When in worry, when in doubt,
Yell and scream and rush about.

That's served me well in the past and I expect it to continue into the future.

That and fainting.
Harry
15 Dec 2010  #4
When in worry, when in doubt,
Yell and scream and rush about.

When in danger, when in doubt,
run in circles, scream & shout.

2: Stop leak: turn off mains water inlet taps
3: Stop leak: turn off affected tap if possible

I think that you've got number three the wrong way round. Whether the affected tap is open or closed will make no difference to the water coming out of the leak. However, once you turn off the main water inlet taps, you then need to turn the affected tap on (and turn all other taps on) so that you can drain the water that is in the system out as fast as possible.
Ashleys mind 3 | 456
15 Dec 2010  #5
Thanks... this is all very useful stuff.

Step 1 is now... "consult PF for WB's post." ;)
OP Wroclaw Boy
15 Dec 2010  #6
you then need to turn the affected tap on (and turn all other taps on) so that you can drain the water that is in the system out as fast as possible.

i didnt need to worry about that a blank had blown clean off, dumped about three full bath tubs worth of water all over the floor.
wildrover 98 | 4,452
15 Dec 2010  #7
Let it freeze.... you will be the envy of your neighbours...the only one with your own indoor ice rink...!
OP Wroclaw Boy
17 Dec 2010  #8
Its true im becoming something of a plumber, had to pop down the hardware store this morning (slipping and sliding all the way in my rear wheel drive merc) for supplies.

System drained, two burst pipes capped, all for about two hours work and 15 PLN - parts. Even had to uninstall then reinstall a toilet. Ohh the joys of living in a big old house.

Its water wars 2-1 to the water so far.

Give it another few years and i'll have a bloody tractor.

the only one with your own indoor ice rink...!

that totally happened last night, i was trying to mop up water but it was freezing as i mopped.
wildrover 98 | 4,452
17 Dec 2010  #9
During my first winter in Poland , which was quite a hard one , i had the water pipes in my kitchen freeze...

Once i got a fire going i did get a bit of a dribble from the tap in the kitchen , so left it running in the hope it would flush out the remaining ice....

Soon after this i was engaged in some indoor exercises with Aneta , a lovely but silly blondie , just to keep warm of course...!

She said she could hear the water running qute fast now , so maybe we should look at it , no , sez i , let it run , it will flush all the ice out of the pipes....

Little did i know , that the plug hole was still frozen up so once the sink filled up , the remaining 2000 liters went all over the kitchen floor....

And yes , most of it froze , making a nice ice rink to skate about on....
cheehaw 2 | 263
17 Dec 2010  #10
probably you know this but in case you don't.. if you let the faucets drip just a teeny tiny bit when it's real cold, the pipes won't burst.
OP Wroclaw Boy
23 Dec 2010  #11
Thats sound advice and i did that for a bit but my house is so frigging big i just turned of the mains systems except vital inlets and then drained them, should be OK till thaw time now.
beckski 12 | 1,617
24 Dec 2010  #12
posts: 11
A frozen then burst pipe in Poland - what to do

First cry, then call an expert repairman. That's what I did earlier this week. My ceiling had sprung a few leaks. Due to an over abundance of rainfall, courtesy of mother nature ;(
Barney 14 | 1,469
24 Dec 2010  #13
I would just like to add to this cos it happened to me at 3.30pm today.

I had just enough time to get to the hardware shop to find they had no 22mm compression joints have to wait till monday.

The problem that I had was that the burst pipe was part of the heating system. You have to drain all water so find out how to drain your heating system. It turned out that

1 My water tanks dont have shut off cocks so I had tie the ball cocks up to stop the tanks refilling leaving us with mains water to the kitchen.

2. The heating system didnt have a draining point of its own and couldnt be isolated so had to drain it via the hot water tank ie the taps.

The net result is that we now have no heating system and no water in the house. Thankfully I have a fire without a back boiler so there is heat in one room.

Polish houses have water tanks? or do they operate without.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
24 Dec 2010  #14
Polish houses have water tanks? or do they operate without.

no water tank in my flat
Barney 14 | 1,469
24 Dec 2010  #15
I thought that was the case, it's the same here with houses that have gas.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
24 Dec 2010  #16
Polish houses have water tanks? or do they operate without.

I have never seen a water tank in the attic here in Poland.
Some boilers have water tanks but that is heated water, the pressure comes from the mains, not from gravity of having a tank in the attic, with the complementary dead pigeons in it, or if you are real posh dead rat.

I still find it difficult to drink water from the bathroom tap but here there is no open tank, so it doesn't matter.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
25 Dec 2010  #17
Usually you gotta call someone to clean the carpets and dry everything before stuff starts to grow...
z_darius 14 | 3,969
25 Dec 2010  #18
if you let the faucets drip just a teeny tiny bit when it's real cold, the pipes won't burst.

The "tiny bit" is fine as long as the drip is active. When it stops (when the water in pipes eventually freezes anyway) then the 'tiny bit" should become full blast to provide pressure relief.

Bleeder valve is a cheaper and more definite alternative.


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